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Ripon 16-18 all-star team finishes 3rd in state tourney

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POSTED July 10, 2012 1:32 a.m.

The Ripon Senior Babe Ruth all-stars just missed out on a berth to the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament this past weekend in Hollister.

They dropped a 6-5 decision to San Benito in the Central California State Tournament’s losers-bracket semifinal Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.  It was the second one-run loss suffered against San Benito, as Ripon fell 2-1 in the opening round last Thursday.

Earlier Saturday, Ripon edged out Hanford, 4-2.

Ripon started the day with several of its top pitchers still available, but starter Cory Van Warmerdam exited the game prematurely with a blister on his throwing hand.

He handed the ball off to Zac Carrillo, who was brilliant in his five innings of relief. He gave up just one run on two hits while striking out three for the win. Carrillo retired eight of the final nine batters he faced.

Ripon trailed 1-0 going into the third inning when it took the lead for good. Zach Gase and Jason Angelo led off with back-to-back singles, and Gase plated the tying run on Carrillo’s groundout. Angelo scored the go-ahead on a passed ball.

Ripon tacked on two more in the fourth. Nolan Kelley singled and Gase doubled with one out. Angelo and Carrillo laced singles to drive in the runs.

In the nightcap, Ripon again fell behind 1-0 before answering with a three-run fourth. Gase sparked the offense once again with a leadoff double and scored on a Carrillo single. Elijah English, who reached on a catcher’s interference, scratched across the go-ahead run on a throwing error, and Carrillo scored on Josh English’s grounder.

Kelley expanded Ripon’s lead when he singled in Carrillo in the fourth, but San Benito answered with a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth. Angelo singled home Gase in the sixth to tie the game at 5-all.

San Benito clinched the victory in the bottom of the seventh.

Josh English threw 4 2/3 innings from the mound. John Olague and Carrillo finished out the game in relief.

Modesto defeated San Benito in the championship round on Sunday, but both will represent Central California in the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament that also includes two teams from Northern California, two from Southern California and two from Utah. The regional tourney begins this Thursday in Watsonville.

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